May 7, 2010
School's Out - And Mom's Stressed
IconSchool's Out - And Mom's Stressed By Cheryl Gochnauer Your children are counting down the days, and so are you - but with adifferent attitude. What am I going to do with these kids all summer? If you're working full or part-time outside the home, it's gnawing torealize your take-home pay over the next three months will drop dramaticallyas you provide all-day childcare for your elementary-aged children. But stay-at-home moms encounter their own challenges - keeping their kidsentertained all day. If your little ones aren't in school yet and you already spend every wakinghour with them, you may be wondering what the fuss is all about. You lovethem; you spend time with them. The End. Good attitude. That's the one we're going for. But sometimes it feels morecomplicated than that. I remember the transition I went through when my youngest daughter startedfirst grade. For the first time in my parenting life, I had a tremendousamount of freedom. I put my kids on the bus at 8:15 a.m. and, unless therewas a problem or I was volunteering at school, I didn't see them until theygot off the bus at 4:15 p.m. My house never looked better, my work-at-home freelancing opportunitiespicked up, and I even got to enjoy the occasional matinee, since my kidswouldn't miss me, anyway. But as summer loomed, I had to face the fact that they were coming back. Myhouse would be trashed, my writing time slashed, and I'd be back to movieswith animated characters. Now don't send me lots of nasty emails about how I'd become a spoiled brat.(I know that already!) I'm simply being transparent here, and I suspectmany readers have experienced similar pangs as they felt their independencebeing reined in again. If you've got the end-of-school blues, snap out of it! We've got someawesome kids, and summer provides a great opportunity to reconnect withthem. They've changed a lot since last June, and as they grow, so do theirabilities. Plan activities that intrigue their inquisitive minds and re-establish theall-day bonding process. Set work concerns and personal projects on theback burner. If you work from home as I do, limit the number of assignmentsor tasks you tackle during the summer months. Cut back on volunteering, ortake this opportunity to get your kids involved, too, helping others as afamily. There's a lot to be said for downtime. It's good for our children to take avacation from their studies, and we can turn summer into a renewal time forus, too. With a bit of an attitude adjustment, I'm learning to appreciatethese school-free months as the blessing they are. (Comments? Email or visit her website at . Check your local listings for Cheryl's appearances onCornerstone Television's "Getting Together" and "His Place" programs on June10th. Copyright 2002 Homebodies.Org, LLC.)Permission granted for use on

Posted by Staff at 1:55 AM